Docusate is a common medication for relieving constipation. It is a stool softener. It works by lowering the surface tension of the stool by allowing more water and fat to get mixed in the intestines, making it easy for the hard stool to pass. It also works by reducing water reabsorption and increasing fluid secretion in the small intestine. After that, the docusate gets absorbed into the blood and metabolized before it is excreted through the gallbladder.
Docusate is commonly available as an over-the-counter laxative or stool softener. It is indicated when there is any constipation like hard stools or opioid-induced constipation. It is also effective in patients suffering from conditions like anal fissures and hemorrhoids that cause pain while trying to pass the stool. However, multiple studies like this have found that docusate is not as effective because a placebo given in its place showed the same results. There are a few other uses of docusate, such as removing ear wax and making other tablets.
Docusate does not have many side effects. Most of them are mild. A few of the common side effects are
1. Is docusate safe in pregnancy?
Yes, docusate is completely safe in pregnancy and breastfeeding. It does not cause any harmful effects to the fetus. In recommended doses, it helps relieve constipation in pregnant women.
2. Is docusate sodium safe?
There are not many side effects from docusate sodium. It is safe for adults and children. In some conditions like appendicitis, severe abdominal pain, ileus (no peristalsis in intestines), docusate is not recommended. It also does not relieve abdominal pain from constipation.
3. How long does it take for docusate to work?
Docusate is available as an oral tablet or liquid form and as an enema (through the rectum). The oral tablet takes 1-2 days to work, whereas an enema takes a few hours.
4. Is docusate sodium safe while breastfeeding?
Yes, docusate sodium is completely safe in breastfeeding. It does not pass into breast milk. Therefore, the child does not show the effects of docusate.
5. Can you take bisacodyl and docusate together?
Bisacodyl is a laxative that works as a short-term treatment of constipation. You can take both of them, as there are no drug interactions between them. However, you cannot take them longer than 7 days.
6. Does docusate sodium expire?
Docusate sodium comes in a package with an expiration date mentioned on it. Try not to use any medication after its expiration date, as most of them lose their potency.
7. Does docusate sodium raise blood pressure?
Even though docusate sodium contains elements that can raise blood pressure, it does not cause an increase in blood pressure.
8. Is docusate sodium a laxative?
Yes, docusate sodium is a laxative and a stool softener. A laxative is a substance that improves bowel movement. Stool softeners are a type of laxative known as an emollient laxative.
9. How much docusate sodium can I take?
In capsule form, you can take one capsule of docusate whenever needed. You can take a maximum of 3 per day. Do not take more than 5 capsules in a day. In liquid form, you can take 15 mL, up to three times a day.
10. Is docusate and Dulcolax the same thing?
Dulcolax, also known as Bisacodyl, is a stimulant laxative. It stimulates bowel movement quickly and helps in relieving constipation. Docusate also stimulates bowel movement but not as fast as Dulcolax.
11. Is docusate the same as Colace?
Yes, docusate and Colace are the same. Colace is the brand name of docusate.
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